Intro Black Diaspora Research Paper

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Western society left an imprint in the African American culture within the America’s, it affected the religious practices, music, and language of enslaved African’s used from the moment they stepped foot in the America’s. These affects are even felt in present African America culture within the music that we listen to, the foods we eat, and the way our churches function. Even though the main goal of the white slavers was to completely subdue African culture, they were not successful. The transformation that the African culture went through allowed for African’s incorporating their indigenous cultures in the force fed western culture they inhabited. The main thing that was affected by western society was the African religious practices. With the invasion of the Europeans and the Americans, Judo-Christianity and Catholicism were sure to follow. African’s were not allowed to hold onto their traditional spiritual practices forcing them to accept the ideas of the Judo-Christian and Catholic faiths. Africans did not give up their own faith but blended their faiths into the religion being pushed onto them. From this new form of spirituality that they created within their communities, African Americans had covertly continued to practice the key aspects of their indigenous traditions; as shown through the practices of Voodoo in New Orleans and within the traditions of the Black Churches of today. They used spirituals, formally named Negro Spirituals, to communicate messages and to sustain them, through the harsh treatment. According to Jesus “Chucho” Garcia’s article “Demystifying Africa’s Absence in Venezuelan History and Culture,” “African cultures in the Americas, rather than quaint but superficial folklore, are cultures of resistance based on African philosophical principles that we must rediscover, that persist and reshape themselves as time passes and as changes occur in our communities.” (this may need to be fixed) Garcia describes the African culture as a “culture of resistance” meaning the African’s that entered did not give up their culture but disguised their culture underneath that of the western culture so that it would live on and survive. Religion is still a major aspect in the African American community. The black church has always played a major role in sustaining the African community as well as resisting the oppression of whites, from the Negro Spirituals of slavery’s time to the organization of the African American community during the Civil Rights era. The black church has aspects of it that speak of its African past. ‘Speaking in tongues’, funeral rites and rituals, and ‘catching the spirit,’ are all aspects of the African culture that was preserved in the Judo-Christian practices. This spiritualism includes the practice of Candomble1 and Santeria2 that allowed for African’s to retain their culture. Through religion was a major cultural aspect that was affected by western society, the development of African music and languages were also affected by western society. One of the most notable aspects of African culture that was affected by western society is music. Even in the churches, music played a major role in the sustaining of their communities and resisting oppression. In Joseph E. Harris’ article “The Dynamic of the Global Diaspora” he explains how music had the effect of unifying and organizing Africans saying, “Neither the Middle Passage nor the slave system broke their awareness of their history. This is revealed in their religious practices (Candomble and Santeria especially), songs, and oral traditions. Their culture and aspirations for freedom were expressed in different forms (songs, poetry, religion) and were sometimes employed to solidify mass followers in resistance movements...” The impact that western society had on the music and oral traditions of Africans, was the complete opposite of what it set out to do. Instead of taking away these aspects of the culture, whites only succeed in inspiring...
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